Susanne Brito’s parents, Rosa and Antonio Ragone, and sister Paula Brito filed a civil lawsuit against the O’Learys after Susanne, 48, succumbed to her injuries at the hospital days after the crash. The family is seeking punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages for the wrongful death.
“For this grieving family, it is about obtaining civil justice so as to prevent these types of deaths and curtailing reckless and dangerous behavior from continuing on our lakes,” attorney Patrick Brown said in a news release obtained by the newspaper.
Rosa said in a separate statement, “Our family has lost a beautiful, loving person. We are devastated. We sincerely hope that through this process, that justice is served and that steps are taken so that innocent victims like Suzie are not seriously injured and killed and that other families do not have to go through such pain and loss.”
The Britos are also suing Richard Ruh, the driver of the other boat who was charged in September with failing to exhibit navigation lights, as well as vessel owner Irv Edwards.
The plaintiffs claimed in the suit that Linda’s “observation, perception, judgment and self-control were impaired due to alcohol and drugs,” according to Agence France-Presse. The family further accused Linda of “texting, dialing, talking or otherwise using a mobile or electronic device just before and at the time she struck the Ruh power boat.”
The accident occurred on August 24 on Lake Joseph in Canada and left two people dead, the other being Gary Poltash, 64. Three others travelers were hospitalized and later released.
The Shark Tank star, 65, claimed in a statement to Us Weekly at the time that the other boat “fled the scene of the accident.” In September, the Ontario Provincial Police charged Linda with careless operation of a vessel. If found guilty, she will be fined but not jailed as the charge is not a criminal one.
Us Weekly has reached out to Kevin’s rep for comment.